Dogs are family for many of us, and we love taking them with us when we go out to eat. San Marcos has several dog-friendly places, including parks, coffee shops, bars, and restaurants. Here are a few local restaurants with great outdoor areas for dogs, offering both sun and shade for all seasons.
Note: San Marcos health code laws are there to ensure restaurants stay safe for everyone, so please be mindful of the rules. Look for the “Dog Friendly Patio” and “Dog Access” signs that are required by San Marcos law, keep your dog on a leash, and do not feed your dog while you’re there. It is also best to bring your own dog water bowl.
Railyard Bar and Grill
Railyard Bar and Grill is a local classic, a spacious and lively restaurant with a covered patio and courtyard. Fortunately, both areas are dog-friendly.
This eatery is actually next to the railroad tracks. Train lovers will have the added fun of watching trains pass by occasionally. Dogs that are sensitive to sounds may want to sit farther away from the train tracks, though.
The food is perfect pre- or post-river fare. Railyard Bar and Grill serves hearty hamburgers and chicken wings, along with flautas, sandwiches, and more. They have an extensive specialty cocktail list and a whole menu of “Railyard Shooters,” AKA shots.
Railyard is great for sports fans, with 10 flat screen TVs (seven inside, three outside). The game day special is 50-cent wings during football season. Head over to watch your favorite professional or college game, or play ping pong for some friendly competition.
116 S Edward Gary St. – Facebook
Wake the Dead Coffeehouse
Wake the Dead is a wonderful, community-oriented coffee shop that welcomes dogs on its funky, spacious patio. You can order coffee and tea, either straight up or as an espresso drink like a mocha latte.
You can find this cozy coffee shop in a remodeled old house. It’s bright and cheerful, painted in hues of pink, black, and green, with enough posters and art on the wall to entertain anyone.
They have a scrumptious bakery case filled with local, freshly-made baked goods, both sweet and savory. Wake the Dead can even accommodate vegan or gluten-free. Choose from scones, pound cakes, dessert bars, oatmeal, or even dried cereal.
Wake the Dead also supports San Marcos small businesses by selling local artisan goods, including handmade soaps and lotions, jewelry, and T-shirts. Look for a full calendar of events every month, where you can usually find something interesting to see or do on-site.
1432 Ranch Road 12 – Website
➡️ Keep reading: Our 6 Favorite Coffee Shops in San Marcos, Texas
Ivar’s River Pub
Ivar’s River Pub is nestled on the banks of the San Marcos River at Rio Vista Park. This adorable pub restaurant has a darling, covered patio overlooking the water for humans only, and a spacious, full-service beer garden where dogs are welcome. Both areas have excellent river views.
It’s delightful to sit here, people watch, and have a nice lunch. Apart from a full list of popular favorites like burgers, Ivar’s specializes in a Gulf Coast-inspired menu.
Besides gumbo, they have a shrimp and crab fondue on the appetizer list. Cajun shrimp cocktail, fried catfish, and NOLA-style BBQ oysters round out the menu. Ivar’s also has a Texas State-themed dish, the Bobcat Fries. They’re extra crispy fries served with queso, sriracha sauce, and pico de gallo.
Ivar’s dog-friendly beer garden has picnic tables and loose chairs for customers. On a recent visit, one couple brought their folding camp chairs so they could sit closer to the river.
Remember, the bar and kitchen are a bit of a trek for your server. So kick back with the pups, be patient, and relax by the river.
701 Cheatham St. – Website
See You There!
We hope you and your furry friends enjoy these casual, dog-friendly places in our fair city.